In the midst of recent price volatility, consolidation of vendors and new energy supply chain, energy companies would be wise to examine the adequacy of their current Energy Trading and Risk Management (ETRM) applications. ETRM vendors have been rolling out messaging to the market, along with new products and enhancements. Added to that voice is Allegro Development. With the new investment by Vector Capital and some changes in leadership, attendees at Allegro's 2014 Customer Summit were anxious to see the latest product release and solution road maps as customers embarked on 3 days of networking and knowledge sharing in Austin, TX. There was a lot to see.
Allegro has been hard at work at enhancing their product offerings with the latest release coming out in October prior to the summit. Allegro took a customer-centric approach, with many changes germinated from customer input in the Allegro 8 release:
- Performance. Allegro has tackled speed in the areas of natural gas and power scheduling, trade retrievals, credit exposure, valuation and settlement. Of note are improvements in processing time of natural gas stream contracts, allocating actuals, natural gas storage, confirmations of power scheduling, hourly power trade retrieval, fee valuation logic, along with net back and net forward.
- Enhancements. Over 500 enhancements and usability features were incorporated specifically in the areas of trade execution, position, natural gas, LNG, power, emissions, net valuation, derivative regulation, exchanges, FERC data transfer, systems administration and workflow. Of note are capturing trades in energy based units of measure for LNG; Improved modeling of natural gas transportation as a spread or spread option; load shape capabilities (composite, forward and scenarios); NERC eTag processing; management of emissions and renewables inventory; and support for EMIR.
- Quality Management. Expanded library of test cases in multiple areas, with an emphasis on natural gas, power, position, natural gas, logistics, settlement and end-to-end trade to cash processes.
Allegro's roadmap for the future follows the theme of the conference - innovation. We were quite impressed with the work that Allegro has been doing to develop Allegro Insight, a product which uses Tableau to build out graphic data visualizations with drill downs that can be easily accessed by the business user. The number of templates in risk, trading, operations & logistics and accounting & compliance will help energy companies get greater visibility to what is going on in their business through pre-packaged KPIs. Also in the works are efforts to build optimization routines, improve the user experience through web based user interfaces and mobile enablement; and transition to a scalable and hybrid in-memory architecture.
From the conference it was clear that Allegro has devoted attention to "celebrating the customer". Allegro introduced customer innovation awards. Additional headcount and investments in R&D serve to support the customer. This is a good thing during times of transition. There are some great expectations for the company in terms of growth. Allegro, with a tradition of organic growth, has shown it is capable of growing rapidly over the last year with first half reports of a 35 percent year-over-year revenue increase. The task at hand for Allegro in 2015 will be structuring the organization for both organic and inorganic growth which lends to their theme for the coming year "A Transformation to Excellence" and their next users' sumiit in Miami, Florida..